Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Tomato & Red Lentil Soup

Wow, I was very happy with how this soup turned out. It was really very simple to make and the tomatoes and lentils combined just as I hoped they would. Thanks to the tomatoes, the soup stays a lovely strong red colour. It is really worth tracking down the smoked paprika (not a local product, alas; it will hail from Spain) as it really adds a special flavour.

8 to 12 servings
2 hours - 20 minutes prep time

Tomato & Red Lentil Soup
2 cups dry red lentils
6 cups (1 1/2 litres) canned crushed tomatoes
4 cups water
2 or 3 bay leaves
4 large shallots
2 tablespoons sunflower or other mild vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cumin seed, ground
1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Put the lentils, tomatoes, water and bay leaves into a large soup pot, and bring to a boil. Simmer until the lentils are very tender and indeed dissolving.

Once the lentils are very soft, peel and slice the shallots, and sauté them slowly in the oil until golden-brown. Sprinkle the ground cumin seed over them towards the end of their cooking time. Mix them in with the soup, and remove the bay leaves. Add the paprika, and season with salt and pepper.

Purée the soup until very smooth. Like most bean or lentil based soups, this keeps well and is perhaps even better reheated the next day. Like most such soups it will also likely get very thick, and need to be thinned a little with more water. It makes a lot; it could be cut in half quite easily. On the other hand, it will keep well.

Last year at this time I made Roasted Butternut Squash & Pears, and Baked Bone-In Ham with Mustard Glaze.

1 comment:

Food Junkie said...

This soup looks like a winner. Sample and tasty. I discovered smoked paprika about a year ago and it is amazing stuff that adds incredible flavour to the right dish. I will definitely be giving this recipe a try